Shropshire Star

'Shroosbury' v 'Shrowsbury'

A huge row has broken out on the internet site Facebook with more than 4,000 people having their say - about how to pronounce the name of Shropshire's county town of Shrewsbury.


Fish Street, ShrewsburyA huge row has broken out on the internet site Facebook with more than 4,000 people having their say - about how to pronounce the name of Shropshire's county town of Shrewsbury.

Rival groups have been set up on the site each claiming their own pronunciation of Shrewsbury is correct. And thousands of people have joined in to side with either Shroosbury or Shrowsbury.

Click on the numbers to read some local views and then have your say in the comment box below

The biggest group is "Shroosbury not Shrowsbury" with 3,438 members. The site features 49 pictures of the county town including Shrewsbury Flower Show, the station, the river, the castle and the Quarry .

The founder of the site is Elle Williams, from Manchester University, and dozens of people have sent her messages of support.

One message says: "We have a map in our house with it spelled Shrowsbury, we are talking a very long time ago, it is now called Shrewsbury."

Another adds: "Is it the Taming of the Shrow or the Taming of the Shrew? Because it is spelt the same."

Another asks: "It doesn't help that the tannoy announcer at the New Meadow calls it Shrowsbury - they wouldn't be called the Shrews if it was Shrowsbury would they?

But many don't agree, and a rival site "Shrowsbury - not Shrewsbury" is boasting 608 members. The site shows pictures of Shrewsbury School and the Salop Floreate flags outside the Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council offices in Frankwell.

An introductory message on the site says SABC's website carries this information: "It was only as bureaucracy increased in the 17th century that a single variation of the name was adopted for legal purposes which is essentially the Shrewsbury we know today - note that in middle English, Shrew was pronounced Shrow - although no doubt the majority of people wrote it phonetically as they always had done."

But the argument has not stopped at one group each - "It's not Shrowsbury, it's Shrewsbury" has 21 members, "It's pronounced Shrowsbury not Shrewsbury" has 49 members and another group rooting for Shrowsbury, which has been founded by a Shrewsbury School student, has 136 members.

Shrewsbury tourism officer Alison Patrick said: "Professionally I say Shrowsbury, personally I say Shrewsbury.

"Professionally Shrowsbury because of the historic origins of the name which was spelt with an o going back to the Saxon spelling of Scrobbesbyrig. But personally I do often say Shrewsbury just because it comes more easily to me."

Shrewsbury town crier Martin Wood: "As a town crier when I am making a proclamation I pronounce it Shrowsbury because it is easier to pronounce but when I am talking about the town I say Shrewsbury. When I am doing my tours people say 'How do you pronounce it?' and I say it depends what side of the river you were born on. If you were born within the boundaries, you were posh and you usually pronounce it Shrowsbury, if you were commoners from the outside it was Shrewsbury."


Leader of Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council councillor Peter Nutting: "I pronounce it Shrewsbury, although sometimes I have trouble with the r. I pronounce it Shrewsbury because I was born and bred in the town and everyone who I know who was born and bred in the town says the same as I do. I was born in Quarry Place but I am definitely a commoner because sometimes I don't even pronounce the r."


Shrewsbury town guide Stan Sedman (pictured left): "I call it Shrowsbury. The reason I call it Shrowsbury is that I am also a town guide and if you look back in history Shrewsbury was known by a number things, Scrosbury, Shroesbury, and it was always with an o and then it became an e. I don't know whether somebody changed it in a monastery at some point writing in dark light but it was originally with an o and that is why I say Shrowsbury."


Shrewsbury MP Daniel Kawczynski: "I know that there is this difference between Shrewsbury and Shrowsbury. I always say Shrowsbury. I've managed to train all the other MPs and the speaker at the Commons to say Shrowsbury. That has taken a long time. When you read it and it's on paper, the spelling to me is Shrowsbury rather than Shrewsbury. But it's really down to personal opinion."

So what do YOU think? Have your say in the comments box below.

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